Sunday, April 29, 2012

The scary book signing

Book signing.  The words alone bring strike fear in my heart.  I can and have done lots of other forms of promo but it is the signing that makes me pop Xanax.  Always has.

I know people who can work a room or stores like pros.  I am not one of them.  I’m not a ‘buy my book!’ person.  I’m just uncomfortable with the whole notion of the hard or soft sell.  I can’t even bring myself to hand out a bookmark let alone call someone over to a table and try to convince them in 50 words or less why they should buy my book.

I’m much more comfortable in front of a television camera or with a pair of headsets on at a radio station than I am sitting at that table.  Why?  Fear of the unknown.  I know what will happen if I do a television interview.  I know the flow and timing of a radio station.  A signing can either be a busy, chatty experience or you can spend 2 hours trying to convince people you don’t work for the store and have no idea where the Dungeons and Dragons books are shelved.  Selling only a book or two is humiliating.  At least for me.

One exception is Murder on the Beach in Delray Beach, Florida.  Why?  Because they promote your signing and they have a loyal customer base who come and enjoy meeting the author and taking home a book.  The other exception is doing a signing in my home.  It’s kind of like an open house with books for sale.  This is only possible because the staff from Murder on the Beach comes up here with books and credit card machine and handles all the transactions.  But that’s a controlled environment.  I personally invite people to my home signings and usually they show up.  It makes for a fun afternoon.

So today is my MOB signing.  It’s the first I’ve done (excluding RWA and Sleuthfest) since 2010.  Yes, two whole years without suffering the fear of the unknown.  Maybe that explains why I’ve been up since 3AM angsting over the idea.  I’m a tad scared because even one of my best friends blew me off, doesn’t bode well.  But maybe, just maybe this won’t be a two Xanax day.

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